Featured students

Maeva Gauthier

Maeva Gauthier

PhD (2018-2023)

Maeva Gauthier is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Geography at the University of Victoria where she is a part of the Community-Based Research Lab. She is also a student affiliate of the Centre for Youth & Society and works with the UNESCO Chair in Community-based Research & Social Responsibility in Higher Education. Prior to beginning her PhD, Maeva obtained her Masters degree in Marine Biology from UVic, during which time, she had opportunity to go on the CCGS Amundsen Icebreaker to the Arctic, where she quickly fell in love with the place and the people. Feeling drawn to the Arctic, Maeva began working with coastal communities on the North Slope of Alaska for the coastal mapping program ShoreZone.Org and became interested in working more closely with coastal communities and learning about their experiences. While in Alaska, Maeva started using a participatory video approach without really knowing it existed... by engaging youth to share their stories of the coast.

Life is very, very special up there, as are the landscape, the light, and the people. I became hooked on the Arctic.

— Maeva Gauthier

Maeva's current research is based in Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, where she is engaging in a participatory video project, Nuna Tariuq Silalu (which means Land, Sea and Weather), to highlight the issues most salient to the youth in the community. Throughout the project, Maeva and her team have coached the youth, aged 15-19, who are given the freedom to select the topic, build the storyline, and decide who to interview. The youth are also involved in the filming process, and help to edit and refine the film. The current chosen topic is climate change; Tuktoyaktuk sits on the edge of the Arctic Ocean, where the communities are already being affected by rising sea levels, even having to move houses inland to prevent them from being swallowed by the sea. 

The first version of the film, entitled "Happening to Us," was released and was shown at the UN Climate Change Conference COP 25 in Madrid, which was attended by several of the youth. At COP 25, the youth were able to meet with ambasators and policy makers and shared their experiences with climate change. The youth have attended several other conferences to show their film.

Happening To Us Trailer COP25 from Avatar Media on Vimeo.

Maeva's team is heading back to the arctic in April to continue the project through a third film workshop, after COVID-19 restrictions delayed their return visit. Maeva hopes that the youth will explore solutions to the climate crisis and what their futures look like in the new video. When completed, Maeva hopes that the films will be edited together, creating one final film. The youth have expressed an interest in creating future work surrounding the issue of plastic waste in the Arctic. Maeva is eager to build on the experiences and relationships she has created through this work, both in the Arctic and with communities around the world who wish to share their story. 

You can learn more about on the project website: https://www.cbrl.uvic.ca/inuit-youth.

Group photo by the Arctic ocean
Group photo by the Arctic ocean after the youth interviewed Randal "Boogie" Pokiak. Sadly, Randal Pokiak recently passed away. Photo: Johan Stroman

Previously featured students

Jessica Pratezina

PhD (2021-2025)
Individual Interdisciplinary Studies
Dorothea Harris

PhD (2018-2023)
Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies
Christina Robillard

PhD (2020-2025)
Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Clinical Psychology
Héctor Vázquez-Cordoba

PhD (2016-2021)
Faculty of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction